how to control sexual desire before marriage

I have been single for seven years and celibate for about three years. While making the decision was easy staying committed meant that I had to learn how to control sexual desires when single.

Even though I enjoy my single season, there is always a part of me that misses the intimacy of a relationship. The long phone calls, the funny conversations, but also the physical intimacy of a kiss and more. I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the latter because sexual desires are real and shouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

As a Christian woman, we oftentimes feel confused or guilty about a desire, which is supposed to be a gift from God. We wonder how to deal with it and are afraid to admit that it even exists.

That’s why today I share with you 3 practical tips on how to control sexual desires when single.

How to control sexual desires when single

1. Place Them Under God’s Control

First thing I want to clarify is that God gave us a sexual-appetite when he created us so that we would want to be intimate with our future husband. It’s a good thing if it is used within the right boundaries, which is marriage.

Nevertheless, I asked myself, why would God give us a sexual desire so early on in our lives when we really just need it from the moment we are married? After doing some research and praying about it, the answer was very simple and is found in Hebrews 2:16-18:

‘For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.’

Jesus came to this earth as a human being, fighting the same temptations as we are today, and he remained free of sin. How did he do it? By placing every temptation into God’s control. Whenever Jesus was tempted or struggled to accept God’s will he would pray. 

Through prayer, we render our struggles to God. And we can trust in Jesus to help us because he faced them as a human being too.

2. Avoid Feeding Your Sexual Desires

As a Christian, we are commanded to ‘flee from sexual immorality’. Most of us do so by avoiding establishments and situations that could lead to lust. Staying away from a bar or a club and not inviting a guy over to your house at midnight are no-brainers and will help you to control sexual desires when single.

However, what about the half-naked model that suddenly appears on your Instagram feed while scrolling down your timeline? Or the uncomfortable sex scene in a romantic comedy you agreed to watch with your girlfriends? These scenarios catch us off guard and now we have to deal with the afterthoughts.

This is where we should follow Paul’s advice. In Romans 13:14 he says to ‘make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires’.

That’s why if a certain show you like to watch repeatedly includes scenes that can lead to lust, it is time to stop watching it until you are strong enough to resist. Same for the music you listen to and the people you follow on Social Media.

I’m convinced that each one of us has different pitfalls and what makes one-person stumble might be fine for another. Know yourself and use discernment to assess the situation before you submit yourself to it. 

How to control sexual desire before marriage

3. Get An Accountability Partner/ Circle

This one is a great point for the ones of you that are in a relationship or preparing to be. An accountability partner/ circle is one or multiple close friends that encourage each other to remain pure and holy before God.

Like I mentioned earlier I believe that acknowledging your sexual desires before they turn into sexual immorality is important.

Therefore, seeking counsel with others and letting them in on your battle will help you fight through it. Friends that know and love you, want you to succeed. And will provide you with the spiritual guidance and support you need to finish the race.

An accountability circle can be as simple as a chat where you get to ask for prayer or advice. But it can also be a group that meets regularly to discuss scripture about sex, relationship, and love. The goal is to exchange tips on how to control sexual desires when single, remain pure, and learn about biblical principles that today’s culture disregards.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12

When I first entered my single season in 2010 I didn’t think it would last that long. And it took me a while until I was able to understand God’s design for it. But once I did these three practical tips on how to control sexual desires when single helped me navigate through it.

And now I’m at a comfortable point that allows me to control my sexual desires even when I’m in a tempting situation.

It’s not easy but doable and if you still find yourself struggling after trying these tips, then I warmly recommend reading The Wait by Devon Franklin and Meagan Good

The Wait is filled with personal stories about their past dysfunctions and the challenging path towards marriage. But most importantly, they provide honest feedback, practical advice and a lot of encouragement.

How to control sexual desires when single


Remember that whenever a song, a picture or a movie puts a sexual desire in your heart you can use a short prayer to give it to Christ. This one is simple but effective and redirects your thoughts to God in a moment of weakness:

‘Dear God I pray that you are my greatest desire. I ban the lust and sin of sexual immorality and thank you for freeing me from it. Amen.’

Do you have any more practical tips on how to control sexual desires when single? Share them BELOW!

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35 Comments on How To Control Sexual Desire Before Marriage

  1. Bold post and much needed wisdom. This is something I haven’t thought of often from the married side of the fence. I encourage the women I mentor in this, but something about the way you shared made it more poignant to me. I’m grateful you brought it up. I hope many single women come here to read your story and gain the encouragement they need.

  2. Aw Justine, this is such an encouragement! I am married now but became a Christian after living an impure an immoral life. Turning to God meant repenting of that as well and I was a struggle to stay pure but God totally blessed that decision and faithfulness to him as I’m sure he is blessing you and will continue to. When we do things Gods way he gives us something greater in return. I love you’re tips! These are so great and I’m sure they will help many women ❤️ I just want to encourage you to stick to your convictions and stay strong! God is using you!

  3. Hi Patty,
    thanks for reading. I am so happy to hear that you mentor women, I find that to be one of the most important things in life. I also pray that single women can identify with my experiences and be encouraged that they are not alone.

  4. Thank you Laura for your honesty. I absolutely agree that if we do things God’s way they always turn out great. I pray for strength myself in this area all the time and know that God will guide me through 🙂

  5. This is certainly a grave struggle for a lot of us Christians but your points are solid and I have certainly known them to be effective, especially refusing to make provisions for the flesh to get its desires realized… it has certainly been a challenge but God promised to help whenever we need it we just need to ask.
    Great read!

  6. I absolutely agree.God doesn’t want us to fail and will give us the willpower to succeed! Thanks 🙂

  7. As a fellow single, I enjoyed your honest and vulnerable post on this topic. You are right that we have been given these desires by God, but still need to submit them to God. It’s important like you said to guard our thoughts, whether it be from music or movies. I love the verse when thinking about what you said that says, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 1 Corinthians 10:23. A lot of singles can get into the trap of thinking that they should be able to handle these things, but we especially have to watch out for things that will cause us to stumble.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. You’re absolutely right, we have to be discerning in this matter as well.

  9. Hello! I was wondering if all these tips help with past memories of sexual compromise… I struggle with this nearly everyday and sometimes it’s overwhelming how much the memories attack me…

  10. Hey Ash, I’m sorry to hear that you deal with that every day. From what I understand you are dealing with shame because of past sexual desire. This is something that I did not tackle in this article, but yes I believe you can still use some of that. The most important is to put it under God’s control. If you have repented of your past mistakes and asked God for forgiveness, then I believe you are allowed to let go as well. Don’t beat yourself up and instead pray for God to strengthen your spiritual walk now.His power is bigger than any temptation, I promise.

  11. Hi Justine, just want to say first that you are a very beautiful young lady. That being said, you may want a more modest picture for the post. The top is a little revealing and I think may? bother a man who may also read this post (mixed message)? Please take this in the best way. I’m just being honest and I’m sure you want to convey a wholesome, positive image for your post. All the best. Blessings!

  12. Hi Nancy!
    thank you for sharing your feedback. I definitely appreciate it and do understand where you are coming from. Blessings, Justine

  13. What if i am single and no chance to get married? I am worried if it would not damage my health with the absence of sex…I have read that healthful sex is can be beneficial to the body.Please bare with mu question

  14. Hi. I am a Christian woman, who is married to a Christian man. I saved myself for marriage, but since we got married… I found out my husband has incredibly low libido and possibly ED. We are only in our 30s. Any advice on what to do when I have a strong libido as a married woman, but my husband doesn’t want to seek help so we can share sexual intimacy? He doesn”t even have desire to give a romantic kiss or anything. 🙁

  15. Hi,

    that’s a very good question. I can understand that your husband feels uncomfortable talking about it, but I do believe that this is something that affects the health of your marriage. The best thing you can do is to involve your pastor or biblical counselor. They might be able to mediate. Ideally that should have been something you talked about before you got married, but if you didn’t it’s best to talk about it now.

  16. Daily Blessing by Suzie Larson
    May God heal your memories. May He minister to those places in your story that still stir up pain in you. May He bring clarity where there’s been confusion. Maybe you’ve always wondered about something and it’s left you feeling insecure. May Jesus speak truth and clear up what the enemy has distorted. May He clean up what the enemy has messed up. In Christ Jesus, you have a place at the table of grace. You’re not your past mistakes and you’re not who others say you are. You are cherished by God Himself. Redeemed by His grace. And renewed because the Spirit of the Living God mightily at work within you. Jesus paid a ransom for your soul so He could save, heal, and redeem every part of who you are. Rest in His care today

  17. Hi Justine. Thanks for this,it really blessed me. Is is ideal to share such struggle with a confidante of the opposite sex who’s also an intending?

  18. Thank you for this post, and I’m glad I found it today. I’m currently separated from my husband after being married for 18 years, and the struggle against sexual desire is so very real. After that many years of not only having that intimacy, but it also ironically being the source of what he claimed drove him to be unfaithful to me, now suddenly having no outlet for my sexual desire is a very rude awakening. And just the general loneliness of having no one to share life with is so painful. I know the main answer is to pray and also to control what I allow myself to see, but reading this post was very encouraging.

  19. I am so very grateful to have found this website. I lost my husband to cancer a little over two years ago and the pain of loneliness is wretched, to say the least. The devil definitely tries hard to play a part in my life by bringing handsome willing men across my path.
    I trust in the Lord as I did when my husband battled a disease he could not beat and I feel I have all the will power in the world until loneliness and grief collide. This is a true struggle and I only want who God wants in my life and I do not want to succumb to lust and infatuation. With that, you are blessing for providing small prayers and scriptures to turn to and to know that I am not alone in this matter. At times I feel like I could lose my mind because of the thoughts that enter it. So it is with a full heart that I thank you, may the Lord bless you in all your endeavors.

  20. This is an amazing article. Which brings me to lay out the question sent to be by someone. She said to me “she often have some kind of urges during her ovulation period. She said she never had any sort of thoughts about the acts nor watch any porn as a matter of fact she dislikes it however such urges comes once in a while and when it comes she tries to avoid it until she has harmless try to suit it by using her pillow. She then asked me if it was a sin considering she wasn’t having sexual thoughts towards anyone at the time.

    So please can someone respond to this? Thanks

  21. I understand where you’re coming from, but what about people like me who are destined to remain single?
    Should we turn off our sexual selves just because there may be no husband or wife to save ourselves for?

  22. This was an interesting read. I too have issues of sexual desires overcoming me. I waitied to have sex until marriage with my ex husband and our intimacy fell very short and now we’re divorced. I feel like I did what I was supposed to do and did not get the blessing I was expecting. I do not look forward to being single and lonely and that’s another area I struggle with and given my horrible history of short lived relationships, it doesn’t seem like I’m destined to have a long term fulfilling relationship. I want to have sex because I enjoy it and the thoughts of having to sustain that natural desire to wait on what may never come to me is not very motivating. I can honestly say it’s confusing and depressing feeling to say the least.

  23. Being a true Child of God is not that simple, we face a lot challenges, the sexual urges is one of them. As a man and single I find it so difficult at times, so many things seize to function as it supposed to, my body, my senses, and much more. But one that are always before me is this: Hey, God does not want you to do it, you have no choice, you must to obey. As Christians, we looking forward for things to come, one single mistake might cost us all the effort we have invested in running this race, therefore we must be careful and also prayerful, God, through the Holy Spirit and our Lord Jesus Christ will help to overcome, Amen.

  24. This is a very interesting topic..I do mental health and psychology,and I am born again..I have tried to resist sexual temptation before and it worked out for me perfectly..I realised the problem is us..what we use our senses for is the,(eyes)to watch porn,(ears)to listen to mourns and sexual songs,(brain)to think and imagine or remember all sexual activities and so on and so on…once you are in control of what you see,read,think,hear,talk about and much more,things get easier..But praying makes you even more stronger..everytime I watch something sexual,am tempted to watch porn and then I get horny and end up masturbating..After that,I feel so guilty in the eyes of God and I start to regret and trying hide away from so tired of feeling this way.Its time for all of us to be in charge of our bodies.

  25. I needed to thank you for this incredible read!! I certainly partook in each and every bit of it. I need to bookmark to look at new stuff on your post.

  26. Hi. I am a Nisha woman, who is married to a Christian man. I saved myself for marriage, but since we got married… I found out my husband has incredibly low libido and possibly ED. We are only in our 30s. Any advice on what to do when I have a strong libido as a married woman, but my husband doesn’t want to seek help so we can share sexual intimacy? He doesn”t even have desire to give a romantic kiss or anything. 🙁

  27. I can understand that your husband feels uncomfortable talking about it, but I do believe that this is something that affects the health of your marriage.

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